Disclaimer: Not mine. Hers. Just borrowing...One shot, first attempt at this...if you recognise it, it's probably hers...

What If

"Go get the mail, Dudley." Vernon commanded his son halfheartedly as he chewed a piece of toast and perused the morning paper.

"Make Harry get it," Dudley said, perturbed that his dad had ordered him away from his breakfast. He poked Harry with his Smeltings stick.

"Go get the mail, Harry." Vernon again commanded, absently. Harry got up just to get away from Dudley and his stick. Petunia came over and refreshed her husband's coffee. "Eat up, Duddykins." She said.

Harry absently sorted thru the mail. There was an electric bill, a postcard from Aunt Marge, and two thick envelopes of parchment. One letter was addressed to him and one was for Dudley. Interesting: Harry never got mail. Who would be writing to him? With his letter clutched under his arm, he gave all but Dudley's letter to his Uncle. He silently handed Dudley his envelope. Aunt Petunia looked up just as Harry let go of his cousin's letter.

"What's this? She asked, coming over to her son. It looked like a formal invitation. Her son was being invited somewhere fancy? As she picked up the envelope, all the blood rushed from her face, and the pale woman looked almost waxy in her shock. She gasped in such a strange way that Vernon looked up.

"Hmmm, what? Pet, whatever is wrong with you?" She silently showed him Dudley's envelope. He took the envelope.

"That's my letter!" Dudley screamed. "I want it back!" He tried to get the letter from his father, but his mum pushed his hands down. "Dudley, enough, dear. Would you like some more toast or bacon?" she asked, trying to distract him. The offer of more food turned his attention to his now empty plate. "More bacon! More toast!" During this time, Harry had drifted into the lounge and sitting in Vernon's chair, almost hidden from his family, he looked at the envelope. His eyes got bigger and bigger as he read:

"Mr. H. Potter,

The Cupboard under the Stairs

4, Privet Drive,

Little Whinging,


His mouth dropped in astonishment. How in the world did they know? He opened the envelope and withdrew the parchment within. It consisted of two handwritten pages. He barely got thru the heading when it was cruelly ripped from his hands. Vernon stood above him, his face purple with rage.

"I don't know how you did this, Potter, but you are not going to any Freak school! And neither is my son!" He backhanded the boy and grabbed Harry by the arm and dragged him to his cupboard. "And this time you're not coming out!" He roughly threw the boy into the crawlspace and locked the door. The man was beyond red-faced and now was an interesting shade of purple, he was so angry. He threw the letters in the bin. Then, deciding that the bin wasn't good enough, he pulled them out and went to the fireplace and threw them onto the grate. He grabbed a match from the mantle, lit it, and dropped it on the parchment. Very soon, the letters were smoking and burst into flame. Once they were nothing but ash, he went to comfort his wife and son. That Potter boy could rot in the cupboard for all he cared.

In the cupboard, Harry lay where he was thrown. His head had come in contact with the underside of the stairs rather hard and he lost consciousness when he hit. Because of Vernon's size and strength, Harry's small frame, and Vernon's rage, neither of them knew that Harry's shoulder was dislocated. The bruises on his arm where his Uncle had grabbed him were the least of their worries.

Mrs. Figg had been walking to the shops when she heard Vernon's rage. It was a warm day already and the windows of the Dursley household were open to catch any breeze that might happen by. Just then, the breeze disturbed the curtains just enough for her to see Vernon backhand his nephew and grab his arm. The poor boy didn't have a chance against the man's rage. Her eyes got big as he continued to rant and rave about how His Boy wasn't going to go to That School. She put 2 and 2 together and did not like that answer one bit: Dudley at Hogwarts? Heaven forbid! She'd watched Harry enough to see the neglect he had to put up with from his family. Not only that, but she knew that Dudley and his gang terrorised the neighborhood; their favorite game was "Harry Hunting". She sighed, not wanting him to get into any more trouble just because she happened by at an inopportune moment. She turned around and went back home. The woman sat down to pen a letter to her contact at Hogwarts. She'd never have anything of importance to tell them other than her monthly reports on Harry's well-being. Her contact, the only squib to live at Hogwarts, was a dour, bitter old man. She sometimes wondered if her reports ever went any farther than him. This time, she vowed, she'd go directly to Professor McGonagall. Having written her letter, she went to her kitchen window and called for Juniper. Very soon, a small barn owl flittered to her window. She instructed the owl to take the letter to the Professor and caressed his head. He chirped. He understood what she'd said and took off. With a sigh, she put the kettle on for a soothing cup of tea. That poor boy never seemed to have anything good come his way. Oh, she tried to help when she could, but Petunia really didn't have any use for her except as a sitter when they couldn't be bothered with the boy. If they thought he was enjoying himself at all, she'd never see him again.